For the third year, The Cross Roads Market hosted the Cruise Against Hunger. The event held Saturday, Aug. 9 featured a car show and is also a fundraiser for the Food Bank of WNY.
Visitors of the rural Westfield location were able to look over shiny cars, new and old, along with other activities.
Don Fadale had his 1956 Chevy pickup truck on display. He built the vehicle with his father entirely from scratch just two days before the event.
Photo by Adam Glasier
Pictured are some of the cars that were entered in this year’s Cruise Against Hunger.
"Every nut and bolt is brand new," he said, confident it would catch the judges' eye.
"This is a great show, a very well thought out event," he added.
Aside from the car show, Cross Roads features vendors selling coffee, pottery, handmade clothing, free wine tasting, artwork, woodwork, crafts, gifts, candy and much more.
There was an atmosphere of delight and positivity among the yellow-clad volunteers.
"The sun will shine! That's our slogan," said Gerry Vacanti, who has headed the show all three years.
Such optimism, however, couldn't cover the obvious lack of visitors to the show. This is a problem that Vacanti is very anxious to address. She explained that the issue is not a lack of interest, but knowledge of the event.
"I can't imagine anyone wouldn't be interested in coming," said Vacanti. "We make it very family-oriented. We've advertised on TV, radio, websites until we're blue in the face, and people come here from all over the world."
She is discouraged that few people in the Westfield area know where the Cross Roads Market is, and many others don't even know it exists.
"You can see there are people who love Cross Roads, but there are people who don't know about it," said Vacanti. "This puzzles and saddens me. We don't know what else to do."
"People say the Cross Roads Market is the jewel of Chautauqua County. But that's not enough," she added.
Even though fewer people attended than anticipated, Vacanti was still optimistic.
"It's been successful. We've raised $5,000 from money and food donations," she said.
All proceeds from the Cruise Against Hunger benefit the Food Bank of WNY, and the profits generated will remain in Chautauqua County. Polla Milligan, grant writer and food drive coordinator, was present at the event.
"We feed 99,000 people every month in four counties," she said.
Among other fundraisers, Blue Star Mothers, an organization of mothers whose children are serving or have served in the armed forces, also held a barbecue.
Lorna Parker, a vendor representing Lornaments, sells a variety of ornaments and greeting cards at the Cross Roads Farm Market. Her neck coolers, fabric tubes filled with absorbent crystals, are probably her catchiest item in stock. Still, she said she doesn't make much money, and is also highly displeased by the lack of visitors.
"It's like a tightly kept secret, but we're not trying to keep it a secret. We really need business," she said.
The Cross Roads Market, 6017 Sherman-Westfield Road, Westfield, is open every Saturday, from May until December, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.